Opera has raised $115 million in an initial public offering. The browser company announced that it raised the cash in an IPO on Friday. The company raised the cash after selling a total of 9.6 million American depositary shares, each going for $12. The IPO is expected to report in at the high end of the $10-to-$12 range. The stock started trading at around 7:30 a.m. PT and rose 28% before settling at about 10% to trade at $13.24.
Why use American depositary shares
Opera began in Norway. It was later acquired by a group of companies from China but has since maintained its headquarters in Oslo. Foreign companies use American depositary shares to be able to trade their shares on the US exchanges. The company will trade under the ticker OPRA on Nasdaq.
Opera is one of the pioneers in the browsing space. It started in 1994 as a research project at Telenor, the largest telecommunication company in Norway. Telenor later dropped the project in 1995. Opera has faced a lot of competition from many rivals among them Netscape Navigator, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Chrome from Google, which has dominated the market. Despite the competition, Opera has managed to maintain its presence in the market.
The company is in a better subscription and financial position
In its regulatory filing, the company says it has a total of 264 million active monthly smartphone users. This is in addition to the 57 million who use desktops. Additionally, despite being little-known, the company seems to be in a good financial position. In the first quarter of this year, Opera reported $6.6 million in net income. Revenue during the quarter amounted to $39.4 million.
Before the IPO, the company announced that it had raised $60 million through a private funding round. The round was backed by Bitmain, a leading maker of mining ASIC mining hardware. Some of the investors who participated in the round are IDG Capital Investors and IDG Capital Fund.
Although the IPO does will not change the browser market given that it is dominated by Google’s Chrome, it will help in highlighting important elements of browsing technology.